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No Small Potatoes

How a Family Potato Salad Recipe is Fast Becoming a Billion Dollar Business

Al Reser

Published by the Oregon State University Alumni Association.

With Kerry Tymchuk. Preface by Dr. Edward J. Ray.

5.5 × 8.5 inches. 136 pages.

2011. ISBN 978-0-87071-630-0. Hardcover, $19.95.

In 1960 when twenty-five-year-old Al Reser became president of the potato salad manufacturing business which his parents began in their Oregon farmhouse kitchen ten years earlier, the company had a dozen or so part-time employees and annual sales of $300,000. Accountants told Al that the business was a likely candidate for bankruptcy. What the balance sheets didn’t account for, however, was the perseverance, hard work, and ingenuity of Al Reser.

Today, Reser’s Fine Foods is one of the most respected and admired companies in the food industry, boasting over 2,600 employees and annual sales approaching one billion dollars. Reser’s salads, side dishes, dips, Mexican food specialties, snack foods, and desserts are familiar sights in kitchens in all fifty states, as well as in Canada and Mexico. The philanthropy of Al and his family has also made the Reser name familiar to America’s college football fans, as the Oregon State University Beavers play their home football games at Reser Stadium.

In No Small Potatoes, Al Reser not only shares the inspiring story of his rise from poverty to the top of the business world, he also recounts the tough decisions that spurred Reser’s phenomenal growth, and the values that have guided his steps. It is a book that will inspire anyone who hopes to grow a small business into something bigger, and is proof that small potatoes and big dreams are a perfect recipe for success.

Member of AAUP